Put a sleeve on it — a tutorial

Lately I’ve had several people ask me how to put a sleeve on a quilt. How about you, are you comfortable making sleeves for your quilts?

I am partial to “D” sleeves because they help your quilt hang so nicely. They allow the bulk of whatever the quilt’s hung on to not peek out over the top. Even knowing that they won’t show, though, I try to make sure my sleeves are pretty. They don’t necessarily match, but I rarely just stick any old fabric on there. But that’s just me. Do what you like, whatever makes YOU happy.

My absolute, hands-down, all-time favorite tutorial for making a D sleeve for a quilt was written by Susan Brubaker Knapp, of Blue Moon River. You can find her tutorial here.

Here you can see the back of one of my quilts on which I used this method. Can you see how this builds in a sort-of pleat to allow a hanger to fit? This way the quilt is eased over a pipe, for example, and will hang flatter. (Yes, I know it looks like I sewed it on crooked. I didn’t, it’s just a way-less-than-stellar photo!)

Put a sleeve on it
D sleeve

Another tip I noted recently is to use glue basting to help hold your sleeve in place while you stitch it down! I think this is absolutely brilliant. There’s no shifting, and no pins poking you while you move it every which way. Perfect!

Whatever method you use, do put a sleeve on your quilts. You never know when (or where) you’ll want to hang it. I’m in the very slow process of trying to get them on my whole collection (including the antiques). Idle hands, you know…

I’m off to do just this. Three of my quilts are headed to MQX, and one is still sleeveless. Do all your quilts have sleeves?

  • Bill V.

    I think I’ve got 200 or so quilts sleeved at this point, and looks like another 100 that are not. Yes, it’s climbed from 250 to 300 while I wasn’t paying attention. LOL!! We’re so bad!

    • Lori East

      That’s because you’re THE Quilt Magnet, Bill!